Kate Essig

News Intern

On Oct. 1, 1964, hundreds of University of California-Berkeley students surrounded a police car to protest the arrest of a student. Students stood on top of the car to deliver speeches and sing, “We Shall Overcome,” to a crowd that grew to include roughly two thousand students.

(Kate Essig/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis turns 250 in 2014, and to celebrate, stl250 has planned an entire year of birthday celebrations. On Monday, the volunteer led non-profit announced the final plans for its signature events. 

The birthday celebration begins on New Years Eve at Grand Center's First Night, where attendees can celebrate by making birthday hats, recording birthday wishes and decorating cupcakes.

(via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill’s amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that was designed to protect victims of sexual assault is facing competition from a fellow democrat.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is author of an amendment that takes sexual assault cases out of the military chain of command and into the hands of military lawyers. 

McCaskill said Gillibrand’s amendment would give military prosecutors too much influence over sexual assault cases, which could be bad for victims. 


Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said today that President Obama should’ve apologized to the millions of Americans whose health insurance was canceled because it failed to meet Affordable Care Act requirements.

“These problems are inexcusable, and it’s embarrassing,” McCaskill said. 

McCaskill’s comments follow remarks made yesterday by former President Bill Clinton, who said President Obama should find a way to let people keep their health coverage, even if it means changing the new insurance law. 

comedy_nose / Flickr

While two Catholic grade schools will close in south St. Louis next fall, seven other parishes confirmed today that their schools will remain open.

All nine schools are members of the South City Collaboration, a coalition of parishes working together on challenges in their schools like declining enrollment, financial difficulties and the shifting population of south St. Louis. 

(via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)

Missouri U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill introduced bipartisan legislation yesterday to protect sexual assault victims in the military from aggressive pretrial proceedings. 

The bill, whose cosponsors include Democrat Barbara Boxer of California and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, amends Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which details pretrial investigations. 

(Kate Essig/St. Louis Public Radio)

Nearly 100 activists rallied for immigration reform outside the federal courthouse in St. Louis this morning, calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on a new immigration reform bill (HR 15.)

The bipartisan bill passed the Senate this summer and includes a pathway to citizenship and tougher border security, but has yet to be brought to a vote in the House. 

(Erin Williams/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis leaders, advocates and fast-food workers met today at City Hall to discuss how low wages impact fast-food workers and taxpayers.

The hearing was organized by Jobs with Justice’s Workers’ Rights Board and featured testimony from workers about the realities of living with low wages. Several of them spoke about how, despite their work, they still rely on government programs to get by.

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Registered nurses at Des Peres Hospital  have successfully negotiated their first contract as members of a union.

The Des Peres nurses joined the National Nurses Organizing Committee in 2012. The deal ratified on Thursday adjusts job security protections, bars mandatory overtime, and establishes a committee of nurses to work with hospital management to improve patient care. The agreement also provides for wage increases and secures the nurses’ employer-paid health coverage.

(via Flickr/The Confluence)

After more than 15 years of advocating for the land where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers meet, the Confluence Partnership is ending.  

The Confluence Partnership began with five organizations working together to protect and promote land around the confluence. Over the years, the Confluence Partnership has worked with dozens of nonprofits and government agencies on projects ranging from river cleanups to land acquisition.

(Saint Louis Zoo)

The Saint Louis Zoo is forging ahead with building a new, state-of-the-art polar bear exhibit.

The 40,000-square-foot McDonnell Polar Bear Point will more than double the zoo’s previous polar bear habitat, which closed in 2009.

Features of the exhibit will include:

(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

A deadline has been extended for some Illinois state retirees to submit certain health insurance documents because of the federal government shutdown.

Recipients of various state health insurance programs need to provide IRS documents by a late October deadline in order to prove that their dependents should still be eligible to receive state health insurance coverage. But as the federal shutdown drags on, the transcripts aren't being released by the IRS.

via Flickr/chuteme

An email scam directed towards Saint Louis University employees compromised private information to an unknown user, including the personal health information of about 3,000 people.  

A subset of SLU employees received an email in late July asking them to disclose their log-in and password information on a phony website posing as SLU’s log-in portal. 40 SLU employees responded to the email, and 20 email accounts were accessed by the unknown user.

(via Wikimedia commons/SSGT CHAD R. GANN, USAF)

Civilian workers returned to Scott Air Force Base today after almost a week on furlough because of the government shutdown. Their return was a result of a Department of Defense ruling that civilian workers whose mission contributes to “the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members” could return to the job with pay. 


Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart is frustrated with the partial government shutdown.

Enyart, who represents areas of Southern Illinois and East St. Louis, supports a continuing resolution that would allow the National Guard to be paid and put the VA and 70 percent of the CIA back to work. A veteran with over 35 years of military service, Enyart contends that the best way to support the troops is to reopen the government.

(Kate Essig/St. Louis Public Radio)

“No shutdown, let’s work!"

This was the anthem of protestors demonstrating today in front of the Federal Center in St. Louis. The protest, comprised of federal employees and their supporters, was organized by the American Federation of Government Employees in response to the shutdown’s effect on furloughed government workers.

Beyond the loss of wages for government employees, protestors also criticized the shutdown of some government services. 

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Kids with robots will continue coming to St. Louis for the next few years. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced today that the world finals of its robotics competition will take place in St. Louis from 2015 to 2017.

The international competition has been held in St. Louis for the last three years and is scheduled to remain here next year, as well. Today’s announcement guarantees that the championship will return to St. Louis for the next three years after that.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Businesses that want to expand to new international markets or start exporting their goods for the first time are getting a boost from Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

Nixon announced his "Export Missouri" initiative in St. Louis on Friday, at a luncheon honoring 20 years of the World Trade Center - St. Louis. The new program uses $2.3 million in state funding to open new trade offices in Canada and southeast Asia; offset the costs to companies of international trade shows or trade missions; and new online resources.


Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is criticizing Republican Senator Ted Cruz's marathon speech on the Affordable Care Act, saying he did it to promote himself.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday the Missouri State House of Representatives Interim Committee on Education kicked off a listening tour geared toward collecting feedback on issues facing schools around the state.

Even though several topics were listed on the agenda, the school transfer process was a big part of the discussion.